Howard Evans (1944-2019)
A key player in the foundation of the Bermuda Folk Club has died.
Howard Evans, who was 74, a musician and former long-term Bermuda resident, created the club with Annabella Fraser and Pat Griffin after a 1971 jam session at his Paget home.
A past president of the folk club, he went on to record the popular song Bermuda Traffic in 1982, a humorous ballad, and remained in Bermuda with his family until 1988, when he returned to his native Scotland.
Tony Brannon, a longtime friend and island entertainer, said Mr Evans had come to Bermuda as an accountant for Butterfield Bank, but also left his lasting mark on the music scene.
He said the father of three and his wife, Patsy, were living in Carnoustie, Scotland, at the time of his death from cancer on April 14.
Mr Evans performed in groups as well as solo. He was part of Colonial Folk in the 1970s, and the Celtic session band Aff the Cuff in Scotland. Mr Brannon said the now demolished Old Colony Club in Hamilton was a hub for Bermuda’s folk performers in the 1970s.
He added: “We have lost many of the original folk club crew; many were expatriates, with a few Bermudians like me. Howard was a great guy.”
Chris Broadhurst, a friend and fellow performer, said he had been guided by Mr Evans as were “many fledgeling singer/guitar players”, and added that Bermuda Traffic was recorded at his home with Mr Evans’s group Odds N Sodds and the song was played “countless times in the 1980s”.
Mr Evans made regular trips to the island as a visitor and explored old favourites at a show in the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society three years ago. Jean Flath said Mr Evans “transformed” the folk club from a casual social event into a thriving organisation.
He helped to attract the Fairport Convention here and other famous folk artists such as Tom Paxton, Ralph McTell, Stan Rogers and Peter Yarrow, adding: “What we offered was a free holiday for musicians to come and stay in one of our houses, and they came.”
Ms Flath said Mr Evans was “a great raconteur” who also performed at Burns Suppers, a celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, organised by the Caledonian Society. Mr Evans’s funeral was held on Tuesday.
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